>Rosa Franklin has good intentions, I think, but she’s been living under a rock for way too long. She has decided that the words “disadvantaged,” and “at risk” are horrible labels to put on kids, and they cause more problems just by being. So, she wants to change them, and is trying to pass a bill to that effect. What is the new label? At hope! At what? I see those words, and my brain is reduced to a sizzling mass of neurons that cannot handle the input.
First, let’s deal with the sheer stupidity of the words. Words are supposed to reflect some kind of meaning. If you don’t like the meaning they reflect, tough beans. Changing them to words that really don’t have anything to do with the subject matter isn’t going to make the subject matter any less difficult to deal with, and on top of that, you will have people confused as to what the fuck you’re trying to say.
Second, changing a couple of words isn’t going to change the attitudes of the people who work with those kids every day. Although there is something to the idea of a self-fulfilling prophecy, that has more to do with the attitudes than a couple of words. For example, you’re a teacher. You don’t think poor little Johnny is going to do so well. In one way or another, you convey that message to little Johnny, who feels you don’t have confidence in him, so doesn’t try. Calling little Johnny an “at hope” child is not going to change how you feel about his performance levels.
But most critically, if this bill passes, it is going to cost a lot of dough just to go through the laws changing all the occurrences of the old words to the new ones. And where do you suppose this money is going to come from? Why, from the very programs that are supposed to help the kids who are in need.
I am hopeful…uh-oh, does that mean I’m full of risk? Well, not yet. I am feeling optimistic that this law isn’t going to pass, because the little poll asking folks what they think of the law has about 91% calling it a load of crap. I’d vote too, but I can’t find the goddamn buttons. Granted I didn’t look very hard, but they weren’t uber easy to find.
Ug. this whole “at hope” thing actually leaves me with less hope for the future.